If the royal family was a football team, fans would be clamouring at the manager for letting the star striker go. Whatever you think of Harry and Meghan vs the Royals, not keeping Prince Harry on side was a catastrophic failure of judgement and has exposed a potentially fatal flaw in the royal family.
“I just love rescuing,” Meghan Markle said in last night’s interview, as she gave Oprah Winfrey a tour of her garden – with chickens rescued from a factory farm and a dog saved from a shelter. Another rescue was implied, she has saved her husband from an outdated institution that has caused him nothing but pain. And in doing so, she has exposed the weakness at the centre of the royal family. Now we are wondering if we all need rescuing from the monarchy – type ‘abolish’ into google and ‘the monarchy’ is the first suggestion to follow it.
Harry was always the popular one – a YouGov survey from 2019 gave him a 77 per cent approval rating(higher than the Queen’s). He reinvented himself after a troubled youth and worked hard, with 200 royal engagements in 2018 over 100 days, and he has his mother’s charm. This is a dangerous moment for the monarchy, an institution which must work constantly to remain relevant. The Queen knows this – dedicating her life and making sacrifices to show that she does not take her position for granted but now poor decisions around her are putting this all in peril.
When Markle joined the royal family, it briefly looked promising. They can all say they want to make the world a better place but she seemed genuine. She seemed more relatable than any of the others and had global appeal. The fact that the royal family can’t seem to handle having a mixed race woman is not only a worrying sign but it reflects badly on our country. However much you think the Queen sounds like a nice lady who provides morale boosts when needed, there clearly is something wrong with the wider organisation.
Hilary Mantel put the state of the monarchy very well. She compared them to pandas – “pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment. But aren’t they interesting? Aren’t they nice to look at?”
But now they aren’t even that, they are just a bit embarrassing. If you want a royal gossip fix, you would do better to watch The Crown; Harry and Meghan have simply shown that the royal family needs reforming.